Wow, I’ve been living in a lie my whole life.
Okay, okay, in my defense I’ve never had any encounter with a bald eagle before in my life, whether it be out in the wild or in a nature park.
However, I was fully convinced that the bald eagle “screech” you hear in movies was the actual sound the creature makes.
But, I was today years old when I discovered that this is indeed not the case.
The Alaska Raptor Center set the record straight in one simple tweet, where they’re showing off their two bald eagles, Sunset and Thor, communicating with each other.
And as you’ll see, it’s not that stereotypical “screech” that you hear in the movies, and they tend to replace the normal sound of an eagle with a voice over of a red-tailed hawk.
They share in the tweet:
“Sunset and Thor, Bald Eagles here at the Alaska Raptor Center, showing off their vocalization skills!
Did You Know Hollywood sound editors often dub over a Bald Eagle’s call, with another bird’s vocalization?
The piercing, earthy screams of a Red-tailed Hawk.”
And for comparison, here is a red-tailed hawk and bald eagle vocalizing side by side:
Okay, maybe the red-tailed hawk screech is a bit more intimidating, so it’s understandable why they’d do the switch up in film and what not, but I’m pretty shocked I’ve gone 25 years of my life without knowing this.
Bald Eagle Drowns Whitetail Fawn Swimming In Lake
Nature is ruthless and equally as mesmerizing.
Exhibit 1: this bald eagle coming in hot and drowning a whitetail fawn
According to MeatEater, the video was captured at Lake Noquebay in Marinette County, Wisconsin.
A professor of conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told MeatEater contributor Pat Durkin that this eagle most likely has attacked fawns before
“Birds of prey learn quickly. In falconry, falconers often encourage their birds to go after prey that’s a little bit bigger and more difficult to capture in the wild.
Once they learn how to do it, they’ll keep doing it.”
We can see a young whitetail fawn swimming in the shallow shoreline waters of the lake when a bald eagle drops in and lands right on its back. With its sharp talons piercing the back of the helpless fawn, the eagle pushes it deeper into the water, drowning its next meal.
After the eagle drowned the fawn and dragged it to shore, it came back to chow down over the next few days… until there was nothing left.
Just a little bit of hair left on that fawn.
‘Merica… gotta eat.
Bald eagles are majestic creatures with talons that will rip you to shreds.
That wingspan can also reach 7.5 feet…
Bald Eagle Steals A Fish Straight Right Off Hook
Anybody that likes to fish has experienced “the one that got away.”
A fish that hits the lure hard and fights tough but ultimately never winds up in the net, hauled ashore, or pulled into the boat. Sometimes the line breaks, sometimes the hook slides out of its mouth, and sometimes a bald eagle swoops down, grabs the fish with its talons, and flies off into the wind to eat your fish.
Getting robbed by a bald eagle is exactly what happened to a fly fisherman near Sitka, Alaska, earlier this summer. The angler was reeling in an Arctic char on a picturesque wilderness stream when a bald eagle swooped down from the trees, snatched the char, and took off for the sky.
The guy holding the rod could do nothing but stand there in awe as the line unspooled rapidly off of the reel. The eagle eventually ripped the fish right off the hook, and the fisherman found some solace in the fact that the eagle ripped the fish clean off the hook, so at least it didn’t steal his fly too.
His disbelief at what he was witnessing is exhibited perfectly exhibited by his colorful language. I imagine losing the fish is worth capturing incredible footage like this on camera.
Bald eagles are more prevalent in Alaska than anywhere else in the world. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the state is home to an estimated 30,000 of the birds.
While the bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782, the species has been a spiritual symbol for Alaska Natives for far longer than that.
Eagles are primarily fish eaters, and Alaska’s widespread waterways and world-class fisheries offer excellent habitat and provide abundant food sources for the birds, which is why the state is home to such robust eagle populations.